In the words of Souad Magdy*: "I was able to fulfill my dream of opening a hair salon, thanks to my national ID card”Souad Magdy, is a 23-year-old beneficiary of the national Women’s Citizenship Initiative "Your ID, You Rights" from Mansoura, Dakahlia Governorate. With a diploma in home trade, and with the passing of her father, Souad is proud of her roll in the family as one of the main breadwinners, with her husband, mother, brother, and sisters. The National Women’s Citizenship Initiative "Your ID, You Rights" of the National Council for Women has been underway since 2011 and is in part supported by UN Women through the generous support of the Government of the United Kingdom. The Women’s Citizenship Initiative seeks to support women’s access to national ID cards and raise their awareness about the services available so that they can perform their social, economic, and political role in society.
"Since I was young, I used to help my mother at home and support her in raising my younger sisters. At that young age, I used to like and enjoy doing my siblings’ hair. My brother, Yasser, who is five years younger than me, would let me cut his hair for him and he would ask me for different hairstyles every time according to the latest fashions and cuts. At first, his purpose was to save the money that he would pay to the barber, but by time, he was convinced that I was talented in this field.
It has always been my dream to become a hairdresser and have my own clients.
I heard about the Women’s Citizenship Initiative "Your ID, You Rights" through my friend who had previously applied to obtain an ID card so as to get married. She told me that the branch of the National Council for Women in Mansoura announces, through representatives, associations and civil units, the issuance of cards for women free of charge. I decided to go and registered my data. A month later, I went to the local unit according to the time I was informed of to review the papers and to have my photo taken, and within 3 weeks I received my national ID.
After I received my diploma, I got married. My husband is an open-minded man who was convinced of the importance of educating girls and their work. After getting married, I lived in the family house, and I always carried my national ID in my wallet. I watched videos on the internet about the basics of hairdressing and simple beauty tips, which added a lot of experience to my talent. Since my husband works in the Red Sea, he travels frequently which resulted in having a lot of free time for me, so my friends encouraged me to work from home as a hairdresser for women and girls.
At first, I was hesitant and afraid, especially because I did not have the money to start my project and achieve my dream, but I was very much encouraged by my family and friends. We managed to set up an-informal- association between ourselves to save and transfer money.
I allocated a suitable room in the house and furnished it with the necessary lighting, a very large mirror and a simple chair with some simple decorations and inexpensive makeup 'cosmetics' as I bought my items from the wholesale places. After some time, I was able to buy the specialized chair for this job. Finally, I was able to fulfill my dream of opening a hair salon in my house and thanks to my national ID card, I was able to pay for the clients’ chair by installments. My mother was very happy, and my friends played a big role in bringing clients to my home and because of my talent, many children and young people come to me, and they usually ask for the latest modern haircuts.
I started this project three years ago and I am now satisfied with it and proud that it is making a profit for me, and I am happy with my clients.
I realized that when a girl works, she gains self-confidence and learns a lot. My ultimate lesson learned was not to rely on anyone but myself and to always take care of my family.
*** Disclaimer: The name has been changed to preserve the identity of the beneficiary, according to her wish.
 A national ID card is required to complete any purchase in installments.